Cody Schroeter

What's your favorite kind of soup?

I'm an Italian wedding guy. That is 100% the best soup. There's a place in North Van called the Soup Meister, you got to check it out, it's so good. 

         Cody Schroeter is a multi talented musician from North Vancouver who has released solo music such as his EP Six Degrees Of Separation under his name, as well as a number of singles. Last November he unveiled a new alias named Archie Arnold, in which he has released a single entitled “Boogeyman” as well as an EP called Love Songs For Like Minded People which came out in February of this year. Cody also plays guitar in the band for solo artist, Grimm. As well as his own solo career and side projects growing in success, Cody is most notably known as the lead vocalist/ rhythm guitarist in the indie band Grade School. Alongside bandmates Jack (bass), Ryan (guitar), Gaspar (drums), and Julian (keys), Grade School has released several EP’s including Keep You Sane and the self titled EP Grade School. I first discovered Grade School when they played the Fox Cabaret’s monthly 4x4 show (four bands for four bucks!) and they very quickly became a favorite of mine. I’ve met a handful of close friends at their shows, typically playing stages like Redgate which is one of my personal favorite venues. The band’s debut album is highly anticipated and has been revealed to be coming this summer. I sat down with Cody to talk about his personal projects as well as to get some insider information for Grade School fans about the upcoming album release. He did not disappoint, and the following conversation is filled with exciting info surrounding the band.


I want to talk a bit about Archie Arnold, I'm really interested in that character. Do you want to tell me a little bit about how he came to be?

Cody: Yeah, I don't know, it was kind of a joke at first and I was like, oh, that's kind of a cool name. It’s inspired by the Archie Comics, I just thought it was a fun name. And Arnold is my mom's last name, so I wanted to take that. But yeah, I'm working a lot on the Archie Arnold stuff right now, hopefully dropping an album in the summer would be cool to drop like two albums. So that's my goal right now.


I'm super excited to talk about the upcoming Grade School album. Obviously, I've already heard it and its so good. It's a different style compared to a lot of what we've seen in the first two EP's, what kind of inspired that shift?

Cody: Tractor Beam. I gotta give it to Tractor Beam. We started, like hanging out with Sasha and watching Tractor Beam a lot. I don't think I've missed a single Tractor Beam show. Their music had just, like, inspired me to go beyond the levels of what I thought.


Are there any other artists that you've kind of drawn inspiration from in this project?

Cody: I got really into The 1975, like the last track “Is This The End?” It sounds like eerily similar to “About You”. Which is funny because I wrote that song before I was like into them, and then I heard it and I was like “damn it, it's way too similar.”

Me: It's a great ender to the album, I like that one a lot.

Cody: Thank you. But now it's yeah, The 1975 has been a big, like, not really much of an inspiration cause it doesn't really sound like The 1975, but just having that band feel to it.


You've mentioned in the past that you've cut a lot of the original album when kind of making this genre shift. Do you think any of those songs are ever going to see the spotlight or they kind of lost to that, like, kill your darlings technique?

Cody: They are kind of lost at the moment. I don't know where cause we’d have to rerecord them, but there's songs “Thunderstruck” that we play at every show and I can't think of any other ones. But Thunderstruck is usually like a big song that we do. Yeah, it's not on the album. There is a recording of it, but it's not on there.

Me: Yeah, I was gonna ask about that one too, cause it's in a playlist labeled Archie Arnold on SoundCloud so I wasn’t sure if that's where you were going to put that.

Cody: No, it’s definitely going to be a Grade School song. It’ll eventually be out, I promise. One day.

Me: “Thunderstruck” and “Be Mine” too is one like was teased that it was maybe gonna be released and then no. Do you think that one’s gonna see the light of day?

Cody: Oh, man 100 hundred percent going to see the light of day. Yeah, this year we’re doing it. We’re doing another EP later in the year. So hopefully that’ll have like “Thunderstruck”, “Be Mine” one’s that we’ve been playing. A couple new songs too from the second album that we might put on the EP.


One of the ones that I was super hyped to see and made the cut was “Been Too Long”. That’s one of my favorites, just from seeing it at shows. Are there any other like tracks on this album that you’re like particularly excited to play live when it comes out?

Cody: “Sweet 16” is probably my favorite track on the album. We've been trying to figure out how to play that song for like a year because there's just so many layers, like there's just one guitar that plays the exact same thing throughout the whole song, and it's kind of subtle, but it just sounds bad if it's not played live. So, we need like a backing track.


“Are You My Girl?” I want to talk about that one. That one was really interesting. It's kind of calling back on the self-titled song on the last EP, and I was curious about that track and kind of what the intent was behind that one?

Cody: We were going to put “Grade School” by Grade School on the album and then also name the album Grade School by Grade School. But we were like, you know, that's a bit too much Grade School. We already get made fun of enough for how many times we say Grade School in our set. But yeah, I was just listening back to it and “Are You My Girl?” was written maybe like three weeks ago. If I'm being real with you, it was put in like the day we needed to put the album in. I was listening back to “Grade School”, and I was thinking like, man, I don't really sound like this anymore. Like, I wrote that when I was maybe fifteen. So I was not happy with that, I wouldn't be happy if it was on the album and by August I would be twenty years old, listening to my fifteen year old self on my debut album. So I just took it, dropped it into Logic and just started messing around with it and came out with that. I thought it was really cool. It's actually a Peach Pit reference the whole song, because they have an unreleased track from a long time ago called “Am I your girl?”, and I was like, “Oh Tim, let me name the song ‘am I your girl?’” and he was like no like Peach Pit might release that one so I was like okay, we'll do “Are You My Girl?”. My little love letter to Peach Pit on the album.

Me: So, there's no old songs on the album then, not wanting to listen to songs you wrote five years ago anymore?

Cody: No, I think “Been Too Long” is the oldest song on the album.

Me: When did you guys write that one?

Cody: It was like probably at the start. Probably like sixteen or seventeen years old. Thats an old recording. We had to like really beef up the mix on that one, just to sound tolerable to my ears.


Some of my favorites I'd say are “Slowdance” and “Sweet 16” they were really, really good. They've got those riffs that still resemble the signature Grade School style, but have a very different distinct sound to them that I really enjoy.

Cody: Yeah, “Slowdance” turned out really well. That's a very old recording, but the mix, like Chris, do you know Schwey? They're a band, they're not a thing anymore, but they were pretty big in Vancouver. They opened for Men I Trust, and the Zola’s a couple of years back. Anyways, I got obsessed with Schwey, and now that I'm playing with Grimm, I got pretty tight with Chris and he's the drummer for Grimm and he was a drummer for Schwey. We were trying to find somebody to mix the album for less than like two thousand dollars, Chris did the album for a thousand bucks, and it was really nice of him to do that. He has such a signature style of mixing, which I really like, and “Slowdance” just turned into this cool, industrial sounding Gorillaz type song.


That kind of leads into what I was going to ask about how the Grimm thing came to be? How did it become that you were a part of that?

Cody: Yeah, Sam just asked me pretty much on Instagram. It's not as interesting, she just messaged me and was like, “hey we want to have a live band for the KFB show” and she asked me if I'd be interested in playing guitar, and I was like, yeah. And then it just kind of turned into a full band now. We've been playing, and we're touring this summer, which I'm excited about.


You've teased a little bit that there's a music video that has been filmed for “Dear Diana”. Can we expect to see that anytime soon?

Cody: Yeah, we have these friends that run Golden Hour studio who do all of our music videos and they're my group of close friends. We all went to high school and stuff. But he has finals for school, and we did it during final season. We had to get footage from a live show for the scream and shout ending part. We wanted to have like a live crowd, but the shows just weren't working. We played 648 and the lighting wasn't good. We did Redgate or something and it just didn't look good, wasn't a really responsive crowd or whatever. But we played Green Auto and I think the footage worked out pretty well. I hope it comes out soon because “Been Too Long” comes out on the 19th.


I was going to ask if there's anything that you can share about singles or if you wanted to share an album title or a release date or anything?

Cody: I can share the album title, it's called “How To Make Wooden Planes”. I helped Tim (of Kingfisher Bluez) move last year and we were just going through his stuff. He's a collector and he had this book called “How To Make Wooden Planes” and we were just looking through it, it's a super old book from the 50s or 60s. I just saw this font and that title was really cool, and it already kind of looks like an album.

Me: Are you using that as the cover, or do you have a different cover?

Cody: We're using this part as the cover *gestures to the image in the middle* and then we've kind of matched the font to make it look as close to this as possible. It was just a super fun day, and Tim has been such a big part of the album, so I wanted to have that included in the name somehow. I'm stoked on the name, I'm stoked on the cover, it's going to come out in August I think. We don't really know because it all takes so long. We just put it in after the whole record store day rush was over. So hopefully it won't take too long.


How do you start writing a song? Do you have a certain way you go about it each time, or is it different case by case?

Cody: I'd say it's usually pretty different for each song. Sometimes it'll start just on my keyboard there. Sometimes it'll start on the acoustic guitar. I don't think I have a solid writing process down, I've seen other people talk about how they just sit in a room with their guitar and then let the song come to them, but that's never happened to me.

Me: Do you ever write a whole song in one sitting?

Cody: Yeah, most of the time I'll do it in one sitting and then send it to the guys. We're like, “Yo this is awful, we need to work on this together.”


If you could collaborate with anybody, either in a side project or with Grade School, who would be the dream collaboration?

Cody: I would love to have Neil from Peach Pit on a song, or Chris play guitar. That would be so cool. Sasha from Tractor Beam would be really cool. I'm doing a bunch of stuff with Len from Punching Knives on the Archie Arnold album, which I'm really happy with. But yeah, Peach Pit would be 100% the biggest collab.

Grade School social links:


Photos by Sebastain Wilkinson: